Cameleon E is a modular unmanned ground vehicle used for EOD, IEDD, and CBRN missions. Image courtesy of ECA Group.
Cameleon E integrates a six-axis mission module manipulator arm to perform EOD and IEDD activities. Image courtesy of ECA Group.
Cameleon E UGV’s manipulator arm can reach vertical heights up to 1.5m. Image courtesy of ECA Group.

Cameleon E is a modular unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) designed and developed by French company ECA Group for defence and security missions.

The UGV can be used for detecting and neutralising explosive devices and bombs during explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), improvised explosive device disposal (IEDD), and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) material disposal missions, while keeping personnel out of harm.

It is also suitable for critical infrastructure protection, law enforcement, and events security applications.

The vehicle took part in IDEX 2019 international defence exhibition and conference held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in February 2019.

The Hungarian National Police, through its partner GAMMA Technical, ordered two Cameleon E UGVs for its Bomb Disposal Unit in July 2017. The deliveries were concluded in September 2017.

Cameleon E UGV design and features

Cameleon E UGV features a lightweight, modular design, which complies with the IP65 water-proofing standards. It measures 67cm-long, 52cm-wide and 19cm-high, weighs 27.7kg, and has a payload capacity of 25kg.

It is fitted with two mission modules and carries EOD and CBRN detectors. A pair of high-sensitivity colour to black-and-white switching cameras is fitted to the UGV to enable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities during the day and at night. An X-ray device is carried to generate radiographies of objects.

The unmanned ground vehicle also features a hot plug mission module to facilitate load handling and a microphone that picks audio within a range of 5m.

It can be optionally fitted with chemical and radiological sensor interface, jammer, dropping radio relay system, 1km fibre optic cable, and a fibre optic drum with a range of 200m.

Cameleon E UGV manipulator arm

The vehicle features a six-axis mission module manipulator arm to perform IED neutralisation operations in remote locations and minefields. The arm can reach vertical heights up to 1.5m and horizontal distances up to 1.2m and is capable of lifting loads of approximately 8kg.

Two-safe shooting circuit and a gripper camera with 40X zoom feature are fitted to the arm. The rotary joint provides rotation in 360° and has an aperture range up to 90mm.

The arm comes with a number of optional fitments, including a thermal camera, laser telemeter, pan and tilt camera, grippers with an aperture range of 150mm, panoramic actuator for ABL2000L/3000L disrupter, and a holder for rex 20mm/12.5mm, RE 70 & 50 and Lance water disrupters.

Command and control

Cameleon E’s hand-held control unit integrates 10.4in touch screen having a resolution of 1,074×768. Weighing less than 4.6kg, the operator control unit features a 2×3 axis joystick, which controls the vehicle manoeuvres using graphical user interface.

The system also integrates video recording option, USB and Ethernet output ports, as well as a hot swap battery, which ensures uninterrupted action in the field.

The control unit comes with a hands-free harness, which allows for easy portability of the unit.

Cameleon E UGV mobility and performance

Cameleon E UGV is propelled by a caterpillar track system, which is supported by a pair of additional small retractable tracks, which help the vehicle to scale heights.

An inclinometer is fitted to the vehicle to measure angles of slope and elevation. The vehicle can clear obstacles up to 25cm-high, climb stairs inclined at 35°, and tackle slopes up to 45°.

The UGV can be deployed in less than three minutes and is capable of operating in extreme temperatures ranging from -20°C to 55°C. It can attain maximum speed of 6km/h and endure for up to four hours. The digital radio range of the vehicle is 350m.